Lester Senior Housing Community Expands Wellness Program for Assisted Living Residents with Launch of "Gentle Scents" Aromatherapy with Essential Oils

Lester Senior Housing Community Expands Wellness Program with Launch of Aromatherapy with Essential Oils for Assisted Living Residents. “Gentle Scents” Program to be Provided by Nursing Team; Aromatherapy is Shown to Promote Relaxation, Improve Focus, Relieve Pain Among Its Many Benefits.

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Social worker Heather Roman (left) and Community Life Coordinator Cheryl Fisch learn how to use a large room diffuser from trainer and aromatherapist Barbara Rimorin (seated)

Diffusing essential oils in residents’ rooms can help avoid or minimize the use of prescription drugs.

Whippany, NJ (PRWEB) March 10, 2014

The Lester Senior Housing Community in Whippany, N.J. is broadening its wellness offerings with a new aromatherapy program called “Gentle Scents.” The senior living community’s Josh and Judy Weston Assisted Living Residence is launching this complementary modality this month for residents as part of its evolving services offered through its Wellness Center. The Lester Senior Housing Community, which offers both independent living and assisted living options, is owned and managed by the Jewish Community Housing Corporation of Metropolitan New Jersey (JCHC).

Staff training took place on February 18, led by aromatherapist Barbara Rimorin, who is also a certified assisted living administrator and certified dementia practitioner. In addition to key staff members, Rimorin trained nurses, nursing aides, activities aides and several volunteers in the proper use and administration of essential oils for wellness. The aromatherapy sessions will be incorporated into community life programs, from recreational activities to guided imagery and sensory programs, as well as through the personal care provided by the nursing team. The Gentle Scents program will be managed by the residence’s Wellness Director, Bola Kuku.

Essential oils are plant-based and are the most potent part of the plant. Rimorin said that aromatic protocols date back 5,000 years and, “When used properly, aromatherapy is a safe and effective tool in holistic nursing. As a complementary treatment, essential oils can enhance the quality of life for seniors by promoting relaxation, stimulating appetite and energy levels, helping to manage pain, and sharpening the mind’s focus.” Essential oils may also be used to fight infection naturally. The oils are safe, effective, and easy to use, and can be diffused as well as applied externally, taken internally in diluted form, or inhaled.

Laurie Loughney, Chief Operating Officer of the JCHC, explained that the essential oils will be used for personal as well as community enhancement. “Wellness aides will use the appropriate essential oils during personal care for residents who are restless or have trouble sleeping, and for those who are anxious or feeling disoriented at the end of the day,” she said. “We also want as many residents as possible to benefit from aromatherapy, so essential oil diffusers will be placed in the Wellness Center’s waiting room and in use during activities such as games, music or art projects. That way, the oils’ scents will be distributed throughout the room for all to experience the healing properties.”

Loughney has lectured and written many articles about various aspects of long-term care and the importance of harmonizing the mind-body-spirit continuum in pain management and anxiety relief; she has cited aromatherapy, massage and guided imagery as complementary modalities that produce positive outcomes for the elderly. Loughney is a licensed nursing home administrator, certified assisted living administrator and a certified social worker.

Some of the oils that the Weston wellness staff will use are Lavender and Peace & Calming to decrease agitation and anxiety, and Peppermint to improve alertness during group activities. Rimorin said that diffusing essential oils in residents’ rooms can help avoid or minimize the use of prescription drugs, as her own family did during her father’s journey with Alzheimer’s dementia.

“We used several essential oils during my father’s illness in place of psychotropic medications to alleviate some of his symptoms,” she said.

The Josh and Judy Weston Assisted Living Residence is part of The Lester Senior Housing Community, an upscale senior residence that offers a wide range amenities and programs, restaurant-style dining, and spacious rental apartments for older adults. The Lester Senior Housing Community is located at 903-905 Route 10 East in Whippany, on the Aidekman campus of the JCC Metrowest. For more information call (973) 929-2725 or visit http://www.jchcorp.org.

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About the Jewish Community Housing Corporation of Metropolitan New Jersey Founded in 1982, the Jewish Community Housing Corporation of Metropolitan New Jersey (JCHC) owns and manages more than 470 apartments in four buildings for older adults in Morris and Essex counties in northern New Jersey. The non-profit organization offers seniors a range of options in terms of services, amenities, location, and cost, all within a traditional Jewish environment. The JCHC provides housing, programs, and services for the independent elderly as well as those who need assisted living. For more information, go to http://www.jchcorp.org.

About Barbara Rimorin, CALA, CDP
Barbara Rimorin is a certified assisted living administrator and a certified dementia practitionier; she is an approved Alzheimer’s and dementia trainer, credentialed by the National Council of Certified Dementia Practitioners. Rimorin specialized in care for the elderly in various settings, and provides natural aromatic tools for health and wellness as part of that care.


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